Without a doubt, Santorini is one of the most popular summer destinations not only in Greece but the entire Mediterranean (if not the globe)! Instantly feeling a magnetic pull toward the Queen of the Cyclades, it is impossible to resist its allure. Rugged cliffs adorned with whitewashed, sugar-cube houses, blue-domed chapels blending with the cloudless sky, volcanic landscape creating unique formations and terrain, and the most heart-stopping sunset views ever seen by human eyes. These are some of the things that will stand out the moment you step out of the plane or boat.
In fact, Santorini is a vast dream land, waiting to pamper visitors with its profound and unusual allure. And although the island is full of charms and dream-like attractions, four things are definitely a must-visit if you want to get the most mind-blowing views.
Fira – Cosmopolitan & scenic
Fira is the island’s capital and greets visitors with many restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and luxury hotels. Here is where you will see impressive cave houses built in volcanic rock, the imposing caldera, picture-perfect cliff-side neighbourhoods, and milky-white churches with azure domes overlooking the shimmering sea. Wherever you decide to enjoy your coffee, cocktail or meal, expect to be rewarded with splendid vistas of the volcanic crater and the Mediterranean Sea.
?Oia – Picturesque in every way
Oia offers an incredible quality of brightly coloured boutique hotels (most of them were once houses) with a plethora of amenities, such as infinity pools and superb sea views. That aside, though, Oia is known for its absolutely captivating sunsets, the adorable Cycladic architecture, and waterfront seafood restaurants that can please your palate with delicious dishes after a stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets of Oia! Just ensure you get a good sunset watching spot early in the afternoon as the place gets too crowded too quickly!
Imerovigli – Turning dreams into reality
Imerovigli is a stunning village built atop a cliff in Santorini that exudes romance from end to end. It is the place most visitors, mainly couples, choose to watch the sun slipping behind the horizon. Rightfully so. The views you can get from up there are probably nothing like anything else you have witnessed. In many books and guides, it is even described as the Balcony of the Aegean, and we can all understand the basis of this claim. On top of all that, Imerovigli is home to Anastasis Church, the most photographed church in Santorini (yes, the one you see in almost every postcard of Santorini)!
The best thing about Imerovigli is that you can enjoy magnificent panoramas of the caldera and the sea either from a rooftop cafe or bar or the comfort of your elegant private suite or villa. World-class 5* hotels like Kivotos Santorini with supreme personalised services and amenities, like private pools, restaurants, and hot tubs offer top-tier luxury accommodation and fantastic vistas.
Prophet Elias Monastery – Where your heart will stop beating
This 1700s monastery is one of the oldest ones on the island. Situated at the highest point in Santorini, it offers outstanding views, which definitely make the hike all the way to the monastery so worthy. On a clear day, you can see the archipelago and other Cyclades islands dotting the sea.
The monastery is open at specific hours and you can even buy local products (e.g., locally made honey, olive oil, or wine) and handmade items (i.e., candles) from its little shop. Feel free to walk toward its garden and be prepared for a totally unexpected panorama of the entire island that will spread below your feet.
Whether seeking to infuse your love life with unprecedented levels of romance or just want to visit an island that has managed to redefine itself and thrive again after suffering catastrophic volcanic eruptions, Santorini is an exceptional choice. For most people deciding to visit the Queen of the Cyclades, it is a trip of a lifetime for many reasons. Chances are you are about to find out why yourself pretty soon!